Archive for the ‘Profiles In Client Courage’ Category

spend to save?

Spend to save?

The headline says “Every Bottle Makes a Difference.” Ethos water, acquired by Starbucks in 2005 distributes .05ยข from each $1.80USD bottle sold ($.10 per unit in Canada) to fund clean water projects in under-developed areas. Although sales of Ethos water have raised over $4,000,000 for clean water efforts, and the marketing positioning suggests clearly that purchase of this water will make the lives better for people who make less per week than the cost of the bottle itself, the brand is not a charity organization. 94% of the sale price does not support clean-water projects, but rather the Starbucks bottom line. “So what?” you might say, “Starbucks is giving back.” The founders of Ethos say the brand is intended to raise awareness of third-world clean water issues and provide socially responsible consumers with an opportunity to support the cause by choosing Ethos over other brands. After all, nearly 2/3 of the people on the planet do not have access to clean water, and as global population increases, sources are becoming fewer and fewer.

There is no doubt that the money and awareness Ethos raises is (more…)


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Jennifer Lyon Bell

Jennifer Lyon Bell

This is a brief audio interview (below) with Jennifer Lyon Bell, a client of ours. Before that, she was an account planner who I was fortunate enough to work with on several projects over the years. When she and her fiance – also an account planner – moved to Amsterdam for his job, she took the rare opportunity to rethink her future.

She decided to make sex films. But she had no interest in (more…)

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Haru Sasaki, who read our post about Tony Sinclair, alerted us to a fictional spokesperson who absolutely rocks. That would be The Most Interesting Man in the World, spokesperson for that very fine Mexican beer, Dos Equis. His signature line?

Most_Interesting_Man“I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.”

That’s a line that makes me want to kiss the client. Because it absolutely connects with how a lot of people drink beer today without trying to pretend otherwise. Beer is becoming just part of the mix for a lot of people, along with liquor and wine. It’s an incredibly honest line, a believable line, and more of an invitation than a sales pitch. I could completely imagine the MIM (as Dos Equis communications refer to him) does, in fact, prefer Dos Equis.

And I, of course, want to BE The Most Interesting Man in the World. What guy doesn’t?

He’s a beautiful invention. He lives up to the line from the first Austin Powers movie, “Woman want him, men want to be him.” The spots have the kind of humor and fun that Tony Sinclair (Tanqueray) should have had. And this is a campaign with long and strong legs. (Dos Equis already is taking applications for the Most Interesting Man in the World’s assistant – to replace the previous assistant, Steve, who was killed in the line of duty.) Yet it’s far more than a campaign – it’s an embodiment of an ethos and worldview that a lot of people are going to connect with. And that’s the basis for a brand culture.


Stay thirsty, indeed.

So why do I want to kiss the client, and not the creatives and the rest of the team at EURO RSCG? Because the agency did what I expect them to do – they were brilliant. But a client who has the courage to run with this invention? That is a rare creature, indeed. And I know that he, she, or they will be rewarded, one way or another, for their courage. Most likely with the awakening of a strong brand and a growing embrace of Dos Equis in the US.

So, thank you, Dos Equis client, whoever you are, for doing the right thing and keeping hope alive in the hearts of branding agencies around the world, that someday, they too will find a client with your courage.

– Doug

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